CARY, N.C. – Here’s some disappointing news for anyone who doesn’t support the North Carolina Courage:
Paul Riley will direct the National Women’s Soccer League team for at least two more years.
The Long Island resident has signed a multi-year coaching contract extension through 2022, the Courage announced Tuesday. Riley, head coach of the Courage since 2017, was named the NWSL Coach of the Year in 2018 and 2019.
“Ever since we started this special journey with the Courage, Paul Riley has been the perfect person for what we are building here in North Carolina,” North Carolina Football Club owner Steve Malik said in a statement. “Paul brings a professionalism and intensity to improve every day to his leadership of our team. I look forward to continuing to work with Paul as we chase greatness on the field and keep growing the game here in the Triangle.”
Riley has guided the Courage to three consecutive NWSL Shields and two successive NWSL championships. He has coached in four straight NWSL finals, winning three. Riley also led the Courage to the first Women’s International Champions Cup in 2018.
“Paul has been an anchor for the club having played a heavy hand in the culture and success of the team,” Courage captain Abby Erceg said. “His re-signing provides stability to the players, like me, and ensures individual development continues to flourish under his leadership. I look forward to being able to build on what we have achieved together in the coming seasons.”
Riley has coached Erceg and teammates Abby Dahlkemper, Jaelene Daniels, Kristen Hamilton, Jessica McDonald, Katelyn Rowland, Meredith Speck and Lynn Williams for five consecutive seasons.
“We could not be more excited to bring Paul back as head coach of the Courage for many years to come,” said Courage and NCFC president and general manager Curt Johnson. “Paul loves coaching, developing players, studying the global game, his team, and his opponents. His enthusiasm and commitment to his job is on display every single day and is at the root of the winning culture within our club. His commitment to his craft and his passion for his players has resulted in recognition globally and is the winning combination that will continue to drive the Courage and our club forward on and off the field.”
Riley coached in Women’s Professional Soccer, Women’s Premier Soccer League, United Soccer League and C.W. Post. His professional career in the United States included playing for the Long Island Rough Riders, Albany Capitals, New Jersey Eagles, Glen Cove, Hercules and New York Atlas. He is the Riders’ all-time assists leader.
Incredibly, Riley, who is one of the most quotable U.S. soccer coaches in the United States, was not included among the comments in the story.